Archive for May, 2009

I work for a biotech company. We produce software that is used in labs working primarily on biomarker research. As with any company, we’re here to make money, but there’s another more personal driving force: we’ve all been touched by cancer and we want to help prevent and cure it.

We are heavily involved with a group called the Canary Foundation, the world’s first non-profit organization dedicated solely to the funding, discovery and development of tests that will detect cancer early – the canary in the coal mine. Founded by ex-Cicso exec and philanthropist Don Listwin, 100% of money raised goes directly to research; Don’s family foundation covers all administrative expenses. The Canary Foundation has a large network of researchers and labs along the Canada and US west coast, each focusing on a piece of the puzzle. They also provide scientific program management to make sure that all funded research activities are on track and that any obstacles are rapidly addressed and overcome. This close level of research monitoring helps ensure an unusually rapid pace of research and is very different from most grant environments where reviews are typically done annually and at a cursory level.

I’m particularly motivated towards this cause, especially after Tom’s cancer journey this past year. Tom’s success is partly due to us discovering his cancer early (that and being the oldest known and treated cancer).  However, we haven’t always been so lucky; cancer has affected my family through the untimely loss of my beloved grandmother and Tom’s mother. They were affected by cancers that can be cured in their early stages, but with the current tests available, are almost impossible to detect in time for effective treatment.

I know that most of you already have some cause that you fund, but if you feel that this research is worthwhile, please donate something to help prevent the misery of cancer. You can safely donate online here. Thank you.


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<Warning… some disgusting details about Tom’s body are in this post>


So, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here but the reason is good. My condition has been stable. I am well. I’m fat and sassy.

However, as a side effect of the horrible constipation of chemotherapy, I severely aggravated a pre-existing anal fissure. Basically, cancer “ripped me a new one”. Today I got news that I am scheduled for surgery to correct this problem. I will undergo an Internal Lateral Sphincterotomy. Basically, I have a jagged tear in my rectal lining (if this is too much information, you should have left this post about four sentences ago). This causes bleeding and pain on a regular basis. What fun!

The surgeon will introduce a conservative, clean cut that should relax this area and allow this tear to heal. This should mean that the pain and bleeding will end. (And there was much rejoicing.) Though it is a short operation – only 15 minutes – I will really need to take it easy for at least two weeks to allow my ass to heal favorably. And then, I will no longer be a pain in the ass.

Surgery is in eight days. Be still my throbbing rectum.

“A little boy was sitting on the side of the road crying after his dog had been hit and seriously injured by a car when a kind old priest came by and asked what had happened. The little boy responded, ‘That car just ran right over my dog’s ass!’ At which the priest replied ‘No, son….we don’t say ass. You mean rectum.’ The little boy turned to the priest and said ‘Rectum?, damn near
killed ’em!'”

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